Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

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Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

Post by Palatine » 04-10-2006 12:10 AM

Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

Published: April 10, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 9 — The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military's top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war.

Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who retired in late 2002, also called for replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and "many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach." He is the third retired senior officer in recent weeks to demand that Mr. Rumsfeld step down.

In the essay, in this week's issue of Time magazine, General Newbold wrote, "I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat — Al Qaeda."

The decision to invade Iraq, he wrote, "was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results."

Though some active-duty officers will say in private that they disagree with Mr. Rumsfeld's handling of Iraq, none have spoken out publicly. They attribute their silence to respect for civilian control of the military, as set in the Constitution — but some also say they know it would be professional suicide to speak up.

"The officer corps is willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, but not their careers," said one combat veteran who says the Pentagon's civilian leadership made serious mistakes in Iraq, but has declined to voice his concerns for attribution.

Many officers who served in Iraq also say privately that regardless of flawed war planning or early mistakes by civilian and military officers, the American public would hold the current officer corps responsible for failure in Iraq. These officers do not want to discuss doubts about the mission publicly now. General Newbold acknowledged these issues, saying he decided to go public only after "the encouragement of some still in positions of military leadership" and in order to "offer a challenge to those still in uniform."

A leader's responsibility "is to give voice to those who can't — or don't have the opportunity to — speak," General Newbold wrote. "Enlisted members of the armed forces swear their oath to those appointed over them; an officer swears an oath not to a person but to the Constitution. The distinction is important."

General Newbold served as director of operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000 through the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the war in Afghanistan. He left military service in late 2002, as the Defense Department was deep into planning for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy," General Newbold wrote.

His generation of officers thought it had learned from Vietnam that "we must never again stand by quietly while those ignorant of and casual about war lead us into another one and then mismanage the conduct of it," General Newbold wrote.

The "consequence of the military's quiescence" in the current environment, he wrote, "was that a fundamentally flawed plan was executed for an invented war, while pursuing the real enemy, Al Qaeda, became a secondary effort."

A senior Pentagon official on Mr. Rumsfeld's staff said Sunday that the Pentagon leadership provided ample opportunity for senior officers to voice concerns.

"It is hard for the secretary and the rest of the policy leadership to understand the situation if they are not getting good, unvarnished advice from military commanders," the civilian official said.

While General Newbold said he did not accept the rationale for invading Iraq, he wrote that "a precipitous withdrawal would be a mistake" because it would tell the nation's adversaries that "America can be defeated, and thus increase the chances of future conflicts."

General Newbold's essay follows one on March 19, by another retired officer, Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who commanded the training of Iraqi security forces in the year after Baghdad fell. General Eaton wrote an Op-Ed article in The New York Times criticizing Mr. Rumsfeld's management of the war, adding, "President Bush should accept the offer to resign that Mr. Rumsfeld says he has tendered more than once."

When asked about that essay, President Bush rejected the call to dismiss Mr. Rumsfeld, repeating as he often has that he was satisfied with Mr. Rumsfeld's performance.

On April 2, Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who previously led the military's Central Command, responsible for operations in the Middle East, said in a television interview that Mr. Rumsfeld, among others, should be held accountable for mistakes in Iraq and that he should step down.

General Newbold has been quoted previously describing his concerns about Iraq planning, including in "Cobra II," a book by Michael R. Gordon, chief military correspondent for The New York Times, and Bernard E. Trainor, a retired Marine lieutenant general who is a former military correspondent for the newspaper. In the book General Newbold is described telling fellow officers that he considered the focus on Iraq to be a strategic blunder and a distraction from the real counterterror effort. He is also quoted as expressing concern about Mr. Rumsfeld's influence on war planning, in particular his emphasis on assigning fewer troops to the invasion.

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Post by spiritme » 04-16-2006 08:51 AM

U.S.: Rumsfeld Potentially Liable for Torture
14 Apr 2006 22:23:19 GMT

Source: Human Rights Watch

(New York, April 14, 2006) – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
could be criminally liable for the torture of a detainee at
Guantanamo Bay in late 2002 and early 2003, Human Rights Watch said
today. A December 20, 2005 Army Inspector General's report, obtained
by this week, contains a sworn statement by Lt. Gen.
Randall M. Schmidt that implicates Secretary Rumsfeld in the abuse of
detainee Mohammad al-Qahtani. Based on an investigation that he
carried out in early 2005, which included two interviews with
Rumsfeld, Gen. Schmidt describes the defense secretary as
being "personally involved" in al-Qahtani's interrogation.

Human Rights Watch urges the United States to name a special
prosecutor to investigate the culpability of Rumsfeld and others in
the al-Qahtani case.

"The question at this point is not whether Secretary Rumsfeld should
resign, it's whether he should be indicted," said Joanne Mariner,
Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program director at Human Rights
Watch. "General Schmidt's sworn statement suggests that Rumsfeld may
have been perfectly aware of the abuses inflicted on al-Qahtani."

Gen. Schmidt said that Secretary Rumsfeld was "talking weekly" with
Gen. Miller about the al-Qahtani interrogation, and that the
secretary of defense was "personally involved in the interrogation of
[this] one person." Schmidt's statement indicates that Rumsfeld
maintained a high level of knowledge of and supervision over al-
Qahtani's treatment. Although Schmidt said that he believed that
Rumsfeld did not specifically order the more abusive methods used in
the al-Qahtani interrogation, he concluded that Rumsfeld's policies
facilitated the abuse.

The Pentagon has acknowledged that al-Qahtani's mistreatment was not
unplanned. "Al-Kahtani's interrogation was guided by a very detailed
plan, conducted by trained professionals in a controlled environment,
and with active supervision and oversight," wrote Jeffrey Gordon, a
Pentagon spokesman, in an email to "Nothing was done

Human Rights Watch has obtained an unredacted copy of al-Qahtani's
interrogation log, and believes that the techniques used during al-
Qahtani's interrogation were so abusive that they amounted to

The interrogation log reveals that al-Qahtani was subjected to a
regime of physical and mental mistreatment from mid-November 2002 to
early January 2003. For six weeks, he was intentionally deprived of
sleep, forced into painful physical positions (known as stress
positions) and subjected to forced exercises, forced standing, and
sexual and other physical humiliation.

After refusing water, al-Qahtani was forced to accept an intravenous
drip for hydration and, on several occasions, was refused trips to a
latrine, so that he urinated on himself at least twice. He was also
threatened with forced enemas, and on one occasion was forced to
undergo an enema.

"A six-week regime of sleep deprivation, forced exercises, stress
positions, white noise, and sexual humiliation amounts to acts that
were specifically intended to cause severe physical pain and
suffering and severe mental pain and suffering," said
Mariner. "That's the legal definition of torture."

In 2005, the Judge Advocates General of the U.S. Army, Navy and
Marine Corps told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services that
the techniques used on al-Qahtani violated the U.S. Army Field Manual
on Intelligence Interrogation, and would have been illegal if
perpetrated by another country on captured U.S. personnel. The U.S.
State Department also regularly condemns as torture the same
techniques in its annual Country Report on Human Rights, citing their
use in countries such as North Korea and Iran.

Human Rights Watch believes that Secretary Rumsfeld, Gen. Geoffrey
Miller – a senior commander at Guantanamo in 2002 and early 2003 –
and the interrogators who took part in the interrogations could be
criminally liable under federal or military criminal law for torture,
assaults and sexual abuse. (The Inspector General's report is focused
on Gen. Miller's conduct.)

Rumsfeld could be liable under the doctrine of "command
responsibility" – the legal principle that holds a superior
responsible for crimes committed by his subordinates when he knew or
should have known that they were being committed, but fails to take
reasonable measures to stop them.

A special prosecutor is needed because Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales was himself deeply involved in the policies leading to the
abuse of detainees, a conflict of interest that is likely to prevent
a proper investigation from being carried out. U.S. Department of
Justice regulations call for the appointment of an outside counsel
when such a conflict exists and the public interest warrants a
prosecutor without links to the government.

"A special prosecutor should look carefully at what abuses Rumsfeld
either knew of or condoned," said Mariner.

On December 2, 2002, as the Pentagon has previously acknowledged,
Rumsfeld approved 16 interrogation techniques for al-Qahtani and
other detainees, including the use of forced nudity, stress positions
and "using detainees' individual phobias (such as fear of dogs)."

Al-Qahtani, who is alleged to have been a "20th hijacker," was denied
entry to the United States in August 2001. Pentagon spokesman Gordon
told on Thursday that al-Qahtani was an "al-Qaida
terrorist" who provided a "treasure trove" of information during his
interrogation. (The information al-Qahtani is said to have provided,
however, is still classified.)

Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the Pentagon has never
released the full version of Gen. Schmidt's report on abuses at
Guantanamo. The report's recommendations were rejected by the head of
U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, who said in July 2005
that the al-Qahtani interrogation did not violate military law or

I think that the generals that are making noise right now knew about this long ago and maybe just maybe had the you know whats to finally do something about it....but who knows?
A shot of truth with that there ale mate!

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